UK & World News
Wind Farms Condemned By Tory Energy Minister
The Tory energy minister has infuriated his Lib Dem boss by appearing to declare there would be no further expansion of onshore wind farms.
John Hayes was slapped down by Energy Secretary Ed Davey for saying wind turbines had been "peppered around the country" and insisting "enough is enough".
Sky News understands that Mr Davey blocked similar comments from a speech the minister made on Tuesday at a Renewables UK event after being shown a first draft.
But to the Energy Secretary's fury, his deputy's controversial stance was revealed anyway after Mr Hayes spoke to the Daily Mail's political editor.
The intervention will delight scores of Conservative MPs, who have been urging David Cameron to block further expansion of onshore wind farms, but infuriate their Lib Dem partners.
And it prompted environmental campaigners to round on the Government, who branded Mr Hayes "petulant" and accused the coalition of a "growing energy shambles".
According to the quotes in the Daily Mail, Mr Hayes said the spread of turbines "seems extraordinary" and they should no longer be "imposed on communities".
"I can't single-handedly build a new Jerusalem but I can protect our green and pleasant land," he said. "We have issued a call for evidence on wind. That is about cost but also about community buy-in. We need to understand communities' genuine desires.
"We will form our policy in the future on the basis of that, not on a bourgeois Left article of faith based on some academic perspective."
The senior Tory insisted only a minority of proposed wind turbines were needed to meet green targets set by the Government.
"If you look at what has been built, what has consent and what is in the planning system, much of it will not get through and will be rejected. Even if a minority of what's in the system is built, we are going to reach our 2020 target," he said.
He added: "I'm saying enough is enough."
And he claimed new research on wind turbines would make a far wider assessment of their impact on the rural landscape and property prices.
"I have asked the planning minister to look again at the relationship between these turbines and the landscape," he said.
"It seems extraordinary to have allowed them to be peppered around the country without due regard for the interests of the local community or their wishes."
Mr Hayes also said the visual impact of onshore wind farms on environments had been "neglected" and renewable energy needed "genuine community support".
"The salience of aesthetics to discussions about renewables has often been neglected," he added. "All that we do must be sensitive to local environments."
In a public rebuke, Mr Davey issued a statement making clear the Government was not closing the door on new onshore wind farms and that its policy had not changed.
"Onshore wind is one of the cheapest renewables, which is why we've been able to cut the subsidy. It has an important role to play in our future," he said.
The Energy Secretary stressed no targets or caps are being applied to wind farms and that no reviews are being done about their effect on landscape or property values.
Mr Davey had reportedly already taken steps to limit Mr Hayes' responsibilities after the Tory was given the energy brief in the September reshuffle because he was so concerned about his views.
Maf Smith, deputy chief executive of RenewableUK, said his organisation was "disappointed" by the minister's comments.
Greenpeace energy campaigner Leila Deen added: "John Hayes' petulant outburst adds to the Coalition's growing energy shambles and to a deepening divide within Government between those who care about green growth and the economy and those who just want more oil and gas.
"Here is a new minister veering off brief and publicly contradicting his bosses. His comments threaten jobs and his approach will drive up energy bills. Cameron needs to take charge."
When confronted by Sky News arriving at his department on Wednesday, Mr Hayes insisted he supported a "balanced energy policy".
"I don't have any comment to make above or beyond what I have already said on the record," he said.
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what do you think?
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At last some sense! The mad dash for cash might be halted? Those with a great interest in making giant turbines will be hitting back no doubt. As will all those supporters who dont give a fig about communities or the countryside (whats left). It was never ever about electricity.
The reason why the LibDems are so in favour is that Clegg's wife has a contract with a Spanish wind turbine manufacturer.
I've been told by someone who I believe to be correct that these turbines never save the carbon that it takes to build the thing in the 1st place! None of this is about saving the planet - it's about raising taxe revenue.
Sanity at last! Wind farms produce only a fraction of their claimed output, an so standby generating capacity has to be available and ticking ovr, producing carbon emissions, in case the wind drops or even becomes too strong, when they have to stop becaue of the risk of overheating. Sadly, he won't be able to do anything about Scotland, where beautifiul countryside is being ruined by these awful structures.
Wind turbines the so called green energy . Concrete one of the most polluting and unenvirimental product we use in building. An average sized wind turbine uses 600 cubic meters of concrete for the base plus the cost .of manufacture and transport and they don't work if there's no wind don't work if there's too much wind and will never produce enough energy in their usable life to justify the GREEN label then of course you have to remove millions of tons of concrete out out of the ground .It's all about the right people making a lot of money and we the tax payer footing the bill
Once again all talk and no viable answers. Wind turbines only work when the wind blows and although they are useful they can't be our only alternative energy supply. And like nuclear and gas powered stations we cannot let the profiteering sharks take control of it all. We are an island we can use tidal power it is all around us and we can make turbines that can use that tidal power all we got to do is want to do it. Lets have a proper national tidal effort and get it done quickly.
They look awful here in the devon countryside can someone tell me why are they painted white as opposed to being camaflaged to at least try and fit them into the suroundings.their also trying to put a windfarm close to lundy island here which is actually britains first marine conservation area.which i think will devastating for the area.the atlantic array its been dubbed if anyone wants to look it up on the website.
Wind farms are horrific. Cameron gives out to foreign firms about 900 billion pounds a year for their farms even if they do not work. Cameron is backing the Lib Dems again and fighting against his party. The Conservatives should have a new Prime Minister and Chancellor
These windmills are absolute rip off. They cost eighty pounds in electric to start up and produce under one percent of power at best. We are all being hood winked into paying fat subsidies to rich MPs who treat us like morons. When will somebody stand up to these legalised rip offs. You'd be better of buying a push bike with a dynamo.
Anyone here against windfarms please look up the atlantic array windfarm proposal and sign the petition there.this things the size of the isle of wight and will have a very serious effect on the north devon coast as well as the welsh coast.
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"Wind Farms Condemned By Tory Energy Minister" - good header. People have been shouting the same for a long time, perhaps someone is listening. One of the ones on our hills hasn't turned in such a long time. Must be a short in spares perhaps? One of our silly Councillors once said " they would be painted in invisible paint so we cant see them!" We all all waiting for the second coat to be applied because at the moment we can most definitely see them!
Somebody somewhere is making a lot of money out of unsightly, inefficient onshore wind turbines. I am all for renewable energy but onshore wind turbine technology just is not ready.
lol........... the glaring fact is that these wind farms are as productive as a neutered stallion in a stud farm !! but of course those who gain from them are those whose land they stand on !!
Nobody wants them, everyone can see they're uneconomical and as far from ''green'' as it gets. But will they listen ? Of course not ! Snouts in the trough again.